Zmiïv (Zmiyiv, Zmiev, Zmiyev) | Kharkiv

/ Valentyna B., born in 1931,  explained to our team that her communist great-uncle was taken and shot with the others on a hill south of the city. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The wooded area behind the monument, where the 10 local Jews were executed. At the time, this area was a vacant lot. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The location where 10 Jews from Zmiïv were shot. Today, in front of a road along a playground, a monument in their memory stands where the mass grave was. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum Monument inscription: "Passer-by,  Stop and bow your head in the memory of the Zmiiv citizens massacred here in 1941-1943.  Eternal memory to the victims of the fascism.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum

Execution of Jews, communists, and partisans in Zmiïv

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Vacant lot
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Valentyna B., born in 1931: “I knew a family whose father was a Jewish photographer. He was married to a Russian woman and had three children. The local Jews were shot on the outskirts of the city. It was in a kind of vacant lot. I also saw local partisans hanged near the church. Others were hanged on Gagarina Street.” (Witness n°2973U, interviewed in Zmiïv on October 14, 2021)

Historical note

Zmiïv is a city located 35 km (21 miles) south of Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine. Before the war, Zmiïv was populated by Ukrainians, Russians and Jews. According to the 1897 census, 4,652 people lived in Zmiïv. There were also occasional Roma people passing through.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

On June 22, 1941, the German army and its allies began their invasion of the USSR. The city of Zmiïv was captured on October 22 of the same year. As soon as the Germans arrived, Jews and Communists were registered by the authorities. In the autumn of 1941, 10 local Jews were taken to a vacant lot on the outskirts of the city. There they were shot in a mass grave. Later in the winter of 1941-42, Communists were executed on a hill south of the city near a bridge crossing the Donets River. Throughout the occupation, partisans were hanged, and their bodies exposed in public at the current location of the Zmiïv church, at the former location of the house of culture, and on today’s Gagarin Street, or near the military base. 


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